To honour those whose lives have been cut short by Hamas’ terror attacks against Israel, we’re lighting the Peace Tower in blue and white – and we’ve lowered the flags on the Peace Tower, at the Prime Minister’s Office, and across Parliament Hill. Canada stands with Israel.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 8, 2023
... Hamas has decided to attack innocent Israeli civilians because they are self-serving terrorists who exploit others’ suffering as a vehicle for their unrelenting antisemitism.Nothing is to be gained for innocent Palestinians from these cowardly actions by Hamas, and they know that.This is about hatred of Jewish people and a denial of Israel’s right to exist and a rejection of their rumored, historic peace deal with Saudi Arabia, and it is an astonishing moral failure for anyone to suggest otherwise.It is completely absurd on the part of some to take advantage of the sheer complexity of this horrific conflict to justify the intentional targeting of civilians. You can criticize the Israeli government and not be antisemitic. You can speak out against Netanyahu’s atrocious leadership without being anti-Israel. But you cannot justify the intentional murder of civilians with criticism of the Israeli government.There is no rationalizing this. There is no moral basis for it. There is no nuance to be found here, however much some might wish there were....They are intentionally using innocent civilians as shields while they carry out their senseless acts of violent bigotry against Jewish people.Whatever happens next, it is clear that children and the elderly will suffer most, and it is obvious that Hamas is at peace with that.They need to be defeated and dismantled for the sake of all innocents, and the world needs to unite against them with that objective in mind.
...This was a colossal Israeli intelligence failure. This should be the one fact that generates across-the-board consensus ...The Israeli blame game could be epic...The biggest losers will be the Palestinians living in Gaza. [Israel opposition leader] Lapid also said, “The State of Israel is at war. It will not be an easy war and it will not be a short war.” There will be no opposition constraining the Israeli government from launch a counterattack in Gaza: the policy debate will be tantamount to the Onion’s classic post-9/11 debate of “We Must Retaliate With Blind Rage” vs. “We Must Retaliate With Measured, Focused Rage.” ...An awful lot of regional groups have an incentive for a wider war... With Israel eager for retaliation, it is way, way too easy to see how this conflict could spill over Israel’s borders into a wider regional conflagration....The U.S. priority is for the conflict not to widen any further. To be fair, Lapid also said this war “has strategic consequences the likes of which we have not seen for many, many years. There is a great risk that it will turn into a multi-front war.”...Social media will likely make everything worse.
... when it came to war, the focus [of the last 30 years] was overwhelmingly on things such as Insurgency/Counter-Insurgency, Air-power and special forces, Information/Hybrid War, etc. The study and discussion of large-scale conventional war seemed to decline dramatically in universities, for instance, and was relegated to military colleges and a small number of think-tanks.However, if much of the world was not interested in conventional war, conventional war (to steal a line that has been reputedly said Leon Trotsky) was always interested in us....In the last few years, conventional war has returned with a vengeance...One of the key elements in that, is to make people understand that the choice for conventional war is almost always catastrophic for the state that initiates the war. One of the most distressing things about the discussion of a Russian invasion of Ukraine before Feb 24, 2022 was the widespread idea that such a war could be conventionally won quickly (one analyst even said confidently that the war would conventionally be over in a day or so).Whatever happens, going forward, we need to study conventional war more closely....I’m no expert, but all I will say as someone who studies war is that the Hamas operation looks exceedingly well resourced and planned. This had to be many months in the preparation (if not years).It was also kept incredibly quiet—and caused arguably the greatest intelligence failure of the modern era (I cant think of a greater failure than Israeli intelligence has just experienced). Hamas should be the number 1 priority for Israeli intelligence, and they missed completely this major operation.I would also say that people talking about Israel reoccupying Gaza, as if that was militarily straightforward, are trivializing what could be a horrific task. Gaza has 2 million people, is a densely packed urban environment, and one assumes Hamas has serious weapons stockpiles.Any ground invasion is fraught with enormous peril for both the attacking forces and the civilian population. I can't think of a worse area for large scale fighting from both a military and humanitarian perspective. ..
Coalition management will be indispensable - not only the coalition with western powers but the tacit coalition with Egypt and the Gulf states.— David Frum (@davidfrum) October 9, 2023
The Atlantic's Arash Azizi - Is Israel at War With Iran? Tehran is exploiting a conflict left to fester for too long.
Hamas is inviting an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza. Generally, it's dangerous to accept the enemy's invitations.— David Frum (@davidfrum) October 9, 2023
... More important than material support, Tehran offers Hamas membership in an anti-Israel club with forces arrayed across the region. The Axis of Resistance counts the membership of Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon (right on Israel’s northern borders), and various Iraqi and Syrian militias. As others have pointed out, Tehran’s arming of these forces with its advanced missile technology has changed the face of warfare in the region. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the militia that now holds much of the economic and political power in Iran, coordinates all of these forces via its external operations wing, the Quds Force, whose footprint extends over the region and to places as far away as Paraguay and the Central African Republic.Does all of this mean that Iran had a direct hand in planning the October 7 attacks? A White House official has concluded that it’s “too early” to make such claims. But senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah have suggested that IRGC officials gave the green light for the assault at a meeting in Beirut last Monday. The operation, whatever its details, must have taken months of preparation, and Hamas would almost certainly not simply surprise Tehran with something on this scale.Some coordination seems the very minimum.... Allying with Tehran, doing its bidding, and bringing terror upon innocent Israeli civilians will not bring Palestinians any positive outcomes. Seven million Jewish Israelis and the State of Israel are not going anywhere, and so long as Palestinians don’t seek a strategy predicated upon coexistence, they will find no path forward.... As he was hurrying to the northern front on Saturday, a reserve senior officer of the Israel Defense Forces told Haaretz: “We were living in an imaginary reality for years.” He was talking about Israeli intelligence failures, but an equally imaginary reality is that Israelis can have normal lives so long as millions of Palestinians don’t. ...
...Hamas wants the destruction of Israel, yet fewer and fewer countries subscribe to that goal as time wears on. So yes, there is real rage. Much of that rage is against Israel, for plenty of real and not real reasons.But this anger is deeper than that, this is about betrayal. And just like Putin has lashed out against Ukrainian civilians for supposedly turning their backs on their Russian ethnic cousins, Hamas is lashing out at Israeli civilians because of impotent rage.In both cases, it doesn’t matter that the actions literally undermine their ultimate goals. Killing Ukrainian civilians isn’t going to win the war for Putin, and killing Israeli civilians isn’t going to win Hamas support for the eradication of the Israeli state.But it feels good. So they’ll keep doing it, because in the end, that’s all they have left.That’s why Hamas gleefully record themselves parading around the stripped corpses of their terrorism victims, then happily record young kidnapped Israeli kids being abused. Will it win them new support? Quite the opposite. But it feels good goddamit, and at this point, it’s all they have left.A savvy Israeli government would use this opportunity to rally that international consensus toward further isolating Hamas, loosening its hold on power in Gaza, and working toward an actual solution. But the right-wing Trumpian dictator wannabe Benjamin Netanyahu is certainly not one of those, and just like the United States post-9-11, he has the political and diplomatic space to further inflame the situation.Destroying these barbaric Hamas terrorists is well within bounds, but we know he won’t stop there. And Hamas did a great job of both murdering the very people who could’ve paved the way to a solution, while turning even more of Israel and the world against their people.What a shit situation.